Stormy Daniels' friend describes listening in on her phone calls with Donald Trump

Stormy Daniels poses for pictures at the end of a striptease show in New York. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (WASHINGTON POST) - A close friend of Stormy Daniels is confirming her affair with Donald Trump more than a decade ago - saying he listened in on their phone conversations - and defending her efforts to get out of the US$130,000 (S$170,000) hush agreement she made shortly before the 2016 election.

The account given by Keith Munyan, a 56-year-old porn photographer who is among four people listed in the nondisclosure agreement as knowing about the alleged relationship, is the latest development in what has become a daily public relations skirmish between the porn star and the president of the United States. The agreement does not bar Munyan from speaking publicly about the matter.

In a telephone interview late on Monday with The Washington Post, Munyan mostly corroborated details Daniels already revealed in a recently published interview she gave to In Touch magazine in 2011: that she and Trump met at a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe in 2006; that he offered to get her on The Apprentice reality TV show; and that he also offered her a condominium in a proposed Trump Tower in Tampa.

Munyan said Trump would call Daniels while he was working in a photo studio in a house he owned in the Los Angeles neighbourhood of Valley Village, a house she rented between 2006 and 2008. He said the first call came in 2006, after Daniels had told him she met Trump in Lake Tahoe.

"She checked her phone and goes, 'Look who's calling,'" he said. "She thought it was so fun. She wanted to be on 'The Apprentice.' Wouldn't you?"

Munyan said Daniels placed the phone between her ear and his. He said he listened in like this on Trump's calls six or seven times over the course of the relationship with Daniels.

"The only thing I ever heard him do is just babble like he always does," Munyan said. "The conversation I remember the most is about the condominium... I heard her say, 'I don't want that. That's not what I want.'"

The three other people listed in the nondisclosure agreement as knowing about the relationship - Daniels' manager Gina Rodriguez, ex-husband Mike Mosney and porn actress Jessica Drake - have not spoken publicly about the affair.

Though she gave lengthy interviews to at least two news outlets before the deal for her silence was struck, Daniels has been circumspect in her public appearances since the Wall Street Journal broke the news of the agreement in January.

Munyan said he did not recall Trump ever mentioning his wife or children. He said he did not know of Daniels having any texts, photos or other evidence of the relationship with Trump.

He did recall a moment Daniels also shared with In Touch: that when she arrived at Trump's hotel room in Lake Tahoe, he was wearing pajamas.

"He was not dressed appropriately to have dinner with a young lady," Munyan said, adding that she asked him to put on a suit and he obliged.

Munyan said did not know the answers to some of the more perplexing questions still looming over the saga: Did Trump personally know about the US$130,000 payment arranged by his longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen, as Daniels claims in a new lawsuit that seeks to invalidate the deal? Was Cohen ever reimbursed by Trump or anyone else? (Cohen has said he "facilitated" the payment with his own money and was not paid back by the campaign or the Trump Organization.)

Munyan said he hopes that an upcoming broadcast of 60 Minutes, which taped a conversation with Daniels last week, will change what he believes are misperceptions about Daniels because of what she does for living.

"I want it to come out," he said of the programme. "I think people will see her in a different light. It's time that people understand her side of the story."

Munyan spoke to The Post on a conference call with his fiance, 57-year-old JD Barrale, who has been with Munyan for five years.

The couple said that they are close with Daniels and that she refers to them as "my dads."

"She's a very strong, very intelligent woman," Barrale said.

"With a damn good sense of humour. That has served her well because it has been a rough road."

Munyan also said Daniels had told him that she once spanked Trump at his request with a copy of Forbes magazine, an anecdote first reported by Mother Jones in January.

Although Munyan said he didn't pry into the private details, he said it was clear that Trump and Daniels had a sexual relationship.

"This was not a craft class," he said. "This was definitely about sex."

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